‘PICK-MY-BRAIN’

~ Private Consultancy Sessions for Natural Cosmetic Formulators & Brands ~

**Sessions available in March & April 2024**

I Help You to use Herbs and/or Seaweeds Properly, Effectively & Professionally in your Natural Skincare Products

Have you been told that you CAN’T do this?

Or that it is too difficult to do?

Well, the good news is that when you know how to use herbs properly and professionally then you (usually) can!

I deal with the key aspects of this:

From your initial idea (no matter how detailed or vague it might be!), right through to helping people with well-established brands develop or reformulate using herbal extracts.

Here are some of the key areas and issues that I commonly help with:

 

  • How to make your own herbal extracts to professional level: so helpful for people unsure and worried about whether or not they are doing things the right way.

  • Sourcing high quality ingredients suitable for use in professional products.

  • The records and information that you will need to record for extracts that you make yourself.

  • What info you will need to collate and provide for your cosmetic chemist.

  • Recommendations for cosmetic chemists who are familiar with working with artisan brands whose products includes extracts that they make themselves.

  • Advise about hygiene levels required for what you are making. Food-safety? Cosmetic-product? etc.

  • The law & herbs: When is a product a medicine? When is it a food? When is it a cosmetic? Advice on navigating the complex and sometimes baffling rules and laws as relates to making and selling products that contain herbs.

  • Drawing out your idea: From floating in your head to noting key details and features, and drawing up a specific action plan.

  • Recommendations for resources and ingredients to fit with the ethics of your brand: vegan, local, organic certification, alcohol-free etc.

  • Helping you start or develop your formulations with herbs: grow your confidence using these ingredients.

  • Formulating with Seaweeds: Which ones to use, harvest yourself or use a supplier, legal issues, formulating with these, seasonality issues etc.

Formulating with Herbs for Skin Issues

Using Herbs to Help to Create the Desired Actions & Effects that You Want Your Products to Have

  • Which herb/s to use?

  • Which form to use them in for your intended purpose?

  • Which extract types work best?

  • How to know if suppliers are high enough quality?

  • Which documentation do you need? (and which documents you don’t need!)

  • How to test your herbal extracts correctly (so many people are told to test them using the wrong method!) and examples of where to buy suitable testing kits.

  • Checking your extract and products comply with the law.

  • For herbal extracts that you make yourself: how to name them properly (what their INCI would be for your product label): how to keep the proper records of them that your cosmetic chemist will require.

REVIEWING AND REFINING YOUR FORMULATION: Helping you make it effective & viable.

  • Are you using too many ingredients?

  • Are you not using enough ingredients?

  • Are you wasting money on ingredients that you don’t need in your formulae?

  • Does it look like your products are likely to be viable?

  • My recommended changes and suggestions to help them be more viable.

BUSINESS VIABILITY & LONGEVITY

  • Get advice from someone who actually does this (many business advisers don’t and haven’t)!

  • I have been self-employed for 20 years: I’ve worked through economic booms, busts and recessions.

  • I have plenty of experience in having to adapt to changed circumstances and finding ways to continue to thrive, no matter what’s going on out in the bigger world!

  • If you are starting out with your brand then you will need a well thought-out plan to help you get on with this first stage; as time goes on things tend to change and it can be helpful to review, reflect, revise, pull back from some things, pursue other/new things etc.

  • I have experience helping small artisan businesses at both of these levels of experience, as well as all the growth and developments I’ve gone through during 20 years working professionally with herbs and herbal extracts. It can be such an interesting journey!

  • Helping you with options for scaling up with production of your ingredients as your business grows and you need larger amounts.

  • I like to support people and help to ease their worries, anxieties and doubts: when we understand and have the right info then we can plan and this can really helps to ease our mind and put us on the right track.

WHAT’S INCLUDED IN A PICK-MY-BRAIN SESSION?

  • A 60 min (sometimes a bit longer!) live video call with Vivienne where you can ask as many questions as you need to about the areas that you need help with.

  • If required, Vivienne can do demos for you of practical things such as how to complete the records that your cosmetic chemist will require if you are making your own herbal extracts.

  • You get to keep the video recording from the 60 min consultation.

  • Vivienne will also send you on any relevant notes and links based on what was discussed during the consultation e.g. documents & guides, links to where to buy equipment, recommended suppliers, recommended testing kits, info about getting your ingredients contract-manufactured, record-keeping templates, reliable books/online sources in areas you’d like to learn more about, contact details for recommended cosmetic chemists etc.

HOW MUCH DOES THIS COST?

  • A 1 hour (-ish!) session costs €150.

WILL I NEED MORE THAN ONE SESSION?

  • This will depend on what you need help with and how much help you need.

  • However, the majority of the time (unless it’s an enormous project) Vivienne is able to cover people’s key questions in one session.

HOW DO I BOOK?

  • Click the pink booking button to go the the check out page and pay by credit card, debit card or via Pay Pal.

  • The next sessions are available with Vivienne will be in March 2023. The date and time of your session will be agreed between you at Vivienne at a time that suits you both.

  • Vivienne usually runs these sessions in the day times on weekdays:

  • 10 am, 11 am or 2 pm Time zone is GMT (UK/Ireland/Portugal).

  • If you cannot make one of these times due to your time zone then Vivienne will offer you a time more suitable to you. This may have a longer wait because she has less availablilty outside these hours.

  • After booking and paying for your session you will receive an email from Vivienne (within 24 hours of your payment) with a list of the dates and times available. Please select the one that suits you. Vivienne will then send you the pre-consultation information to help you to think about the questions and areas that you really need help with so that you can make the most of the session.

  • On the agreed date & time, the session will take place by video (usually Zoom).

These sessions can be as simple or detailed as you require.

It’s all about helping you with what you need at the level and stage you are at so that you can free yourself up from worry and doubt get on with achieving what you want to do.

A few last important points

What if I don’t know the answer to your question?

  • If you have a question or questions about areas that aren’t my speciality then I probably know someone else whose speciality it is, and will recommend them to you.

  • I have a wide-range of international professional contacts in herbal extract production, distilling, herb growing & farming, natural cosmetic formulating, cosmetic chemistry etc. If I don’t know the answer then someone I know probably will!

  • Will you need to pay for the session if I don’t know the answer to your question? If the topic you contact me about to discuss isn’t something that I cover then I will tell you this before the session, cancel the session and refund your money. Please do note that it is normal during the 60 min session that people talk about a wide-range of areas connected to what they are doing and I may refer you to other to help with key parts of that. I am here to help you properly, professionally and legally formulate with herbs and/or seaweeds

Confidentiality

  • Rest assured that YOUR work is YOUR business and I will only discuss it with you, unless you authorise me (in writing) to discuss it with someone else. And I most certainly won’t steal your ideas, or pass them on to someone who would steal them. I have been doing product development work for other brands for 10 years.

  • I am always happy to sign a Non-Disclosure Agreement (NDA) prior to our session, should you wish me to. I can sign your own NDA if you have one, or provide a general one here for us both to sign (emailed to you ahead of our session). You do not need to have an NDA to book these sessions. This is something extra I offer to do, to reassure people, should they need it.

HOW DO I BOOK?

  • Click the pink booking button to go the the check out page and pay by credit card, debit card or via Pay Pal.

  • The next sessions that available with Vivienne will be in the last week of June 2023. The date and time of your session will be agreed between you at Vivienne at a time that suits you both.

  • Vivienne usually runs these sessions in the day times on weekdays:

  • 10 am, 11 am or 2 pm Time zone is GMT (UK/Ireland/Portugal).

  • If you cannot make one of these times due to your time zone then Vivienne will offer you a time more suitable to you. This may have a longer wait because she has less availablilty outside these hours.

  • After booking and paying for your session you will receive an email from Vivienne (within 24 hours of your payment) with a list of the dates and times available. Please select the one that suits you. Vivienne will then send you the pre-consultation information to help you to think about the questions and areas that you really need help with so that you can make the most of the session.

  • On the agreed date & time, the session will take place by video (usually Zoom).

Private Tutoring

Are you a student of herbal medicine or natural skincare formulating?

Do you need help with a particular topic that you find tricky?

These sessions are run via video conferencing and are available for all the topics that I teach. They are particularly popular with natural skincare formulators, students on herbal medicine courses and newly-qualified herbalists who would like a bit of advice as they find their feet and grow their confidence. Available worldwide, internet connection permitting!   

Pricing depends on the scale of the project and the work involved but I offer preliminary ‘Pick-My-Brain’ consultations via Zoom to discuss your needs. These cost €150 (approx $175) per 60 min session (longer sessions are available too) and include any notes, templates and guides that I send on to you and a video recording of the session.

If you would like to book one of these sessions then please email me with the title ‘Private Tutoring’ with a brief note of what you require help with  and I will do my best to arrange a suitable time for us both. While I always do my best to help genuine people, please note that this service is subject to availability and during very busy times I might not be able to take on new clients or students.

Please email me on info@theherbalhub.com or call/text 00 353 (0)86 8899168

Research & Business Consultancy

Do you have or are you developing a range of professional, natural skin or hair-care products for retail?

Would you like to use herbs in your products but you don’t know how best to do this?

Are you developing a retail or food range from herbs that you need help with?

Do you have land that you would like to use with herbs but don’t know where to start?

These are the most common areas that I am asked to advise on. I can usually help with legal aspects, setting up proper professional systems, helping you to choose effective & sustainable ingredients, helping you to make something viable that is much more likely to help you earn a livelihood rather than failing by falling into one of the various pitfalls that exist where you do not know and understand this area well.

If you’d like to learn how you can use herbs to enhance your products then I offer consultancy sessions, mentoring and specialist lessons on a range of topics from the required legal work for producing retail products to which type of extract to use,  guidelines for how to use the extracts in professional products, sourcing high quality consistent ingredients from reliable professional suppliers etc.  I have extensive experience having developed my own professional natural cosmetic range and have assisted with, formulated and designed natural cosmetics for other parties, as well as guiding them through the legal process of bringing a product to market. I may also be able to help you if you are a researcher investigating the properties and uses of therapeutic plants. I am very keen to hear from people working in this area.

Consultancy work is available via Zoom (video conferencing), email and (if required) meetings in-person. It is most suited to people who need to comply with EU cosmetics legislation (i.e. anyone who wants to sell cosmetics within the EU, whether made by yourself or imported for sale here). If you are based outside the EU then while the law in your country does not require the same high standard, if you produce your range to the EU standard then you should be legally permitted to sell it world-wide.

Pricing depends on the scale of the project and the work involved but I offer preliminary ‘Pick-My-Brain’ consultations via Zoom to discuss your idea. These cost €150 (approx $175) per 60 min session (longer sessions are available too). If you would like to book one of these sessions then please email me with the title ‘E-Consultancy’ with a brief note of what you require help with  and to schedule consultancy time. Having discussed your idea during this session, I will then send you my step-by-step consultancy questionnaire which details the work and costs involved at each step of product development.

When discussing your business ideas with ANYONE I recommend that you use and sign Non-Disclosure Agreements (so that you have a legal document to prevent people stealing your idea). I am happy to sign an NDA for anyone that I work with.

Book Me

Please Email me on info@theherbalhub.com or call 00 353 (0)86 8899168